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MEPS 480:185-197 (2013)  -  DOI:

Pronounced genetic structure in a highly mobile coral reef fish, Caesio cuning, in the Coral Triangle

Amanda S. Ackiss1,*, Shinta Pardede2, Eric D. Crandall3, Ma. Carmen A. Ablan-Lagman4, Ambariyanto5, November Romena6, Paul H. Barber7, Kent E. Carpenter1

1Department of Biological Sciences, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia 23529, USA
2Wildlife Conservation Society, Indonesian Marine Program, Bogor 16151, Indonesia
3Department of Ocean Sciences, Fisheries Ecology Division & UC Santa Cruz, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Santa Cruz, California 95060, USA
4Biology Department, De La Salle University, Manila 1004, Philippines
5Marine Science Department, Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Science, Diponegoro University, Kampus Tembalang, Semarang, Indonesia
6Bureau of Fisheries and Aquaculture Research, National Fisheries Research and Development Institute, Quezon City, Philippines
7Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA

ABSTRACT: The redbelly yellowtail fusilier Caesio cuning has a tropical Indo-West Pacific range that straddles the Coral Triangle, a region of dynamic geological history and the highest marine biodiversity on the planet. Previous genetic studies in the Coral Triangle indicate the presence of multiple limits to connectivity. However, these studies have focused almost exclusively on benthic, reef-dwelling species. Schooling, reef-associated fusiliers (Perciformes: Caesionidae) account for a sizable portion of the annual reef catch in the Coral Triangle, yet to date, there have been no in-depth studies on the population structure of fusiliers or other mid-water, reef-associated planktivores across this region. We evaluated the genetic population structure of C. cuning using a 382 bp segment of the mitochondrial control region amplified from over 620 fish sampled from 33 localities across the Philippines and Indonesia. Phylogeographic analysis showed that individuals sampled from sites in western Sumatra belong to a distinct Indian Ocean lineage, resulting in pronounced regional structure between western Sumatra and the rest of the Coral Triangle (ΦCT = 0.4796, p < 0.004). We found additional significant population structure between central Southeast Asia and eastern Indonesia (ΦCT = 0.0450, p < 0.001). These data in conjunction with spatial analyses indicate that there are 2 major lineages of C. cuning and at least 3 distinct management units across the region. The location of genetic breaks as well as the distribution of divergent haplotypes across our sampling range suggests that current oceanographic patterns could be contributing to observed patterns of structure.

KEY WORDS: Connectivity · Gene flow · Isolation by distance · Coral reef fish · Artisanal fisheries · Coral Triangle

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Cite this article as: Ackiss AS, Pardede S, Crandall ED, Ablan-Lagman MCA and others (2013) Pronounced genetic structure in a highly mobile coral reef fish, Caesio cuning, in the Coral Triangle. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 480:185-197.

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